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  • Bob Puglisi


I used ChatGPT to generate a Thanksgiving greeting for my blog last month. I was pretty surprised by what it produced; it was well done. But as many of you commented, it didn't sound like my writing voice, and you were right. It was an interesting experiment for me. Thank you for your responses. I was happy that it solicited so many emails. AI is in our future. I intend to experiment with it some more. It can be a valuable tool for writers. Let's hope it is used for good purposes and not evil.

In this month's blog, I have chosen to share a short play I wrote when I was a librarian at the Old Rock Library in Crested Butte, Colorado. It was one of the most pleasing jobs I ever had. We performed the play for the local pre-schoolers just before Christmas. I played the librarian part, and my friend and coworker, Maria Fenerty's daughter, Tess, played the elf. The kids loved it. I'm sure most of them had never seen a live performance like that. It was in our charming library, up close and personal. One little boy asked following the performance if the elf was real. Not to spoil the illusion, I said, "What do you think?" He smiled and said, "Yeah."

Since then, I turned the play into a children's book, which still needs to be illustrated. I hope to find someone to do the illustrations so I can publish the book. Your comments and feedback are always more than welcome.

After reading this blog, navigate to "My Books" at the top. You may discover that some of them would make great holiday gifts.



A Short Play

By Bob Puglisi

Copyright © 2023 Bob Puglisi

SETTING: A little town in the Rocky Mountains has an old schoolhouse made of stone. Today, it is a library named the Old Rock Library. It's a cold December evening.

CHARACTERS: JOE, the Librarian, any age

                             Tess, a female Christmas elf, any age

THE SCENES: Scene 1 inside the library.

                          Scene 2 Christmas Eve outside the library.


Scene 1

(Inside the library, Joe, the Librarian, shelves books. Tess, the elf, walks up to Joe.)


Tess: Excuse me, sir! Are you the Librarian?

Joe: (looks at her curiously) Yes, I am. How can I help you?

Tess: I'm lost.

Joe: You are?

Tess: Well, it's been about a year.

Joe: What?

Tess: I got lost last Christmas Eve, and I've been here ever since.

Joe: You did?

(Tess moves closer to Joe and speaks softly so only he can hear her.)

Tess: My employer dropped me off in this town to deliver some presents. You see—I got stuck in a chimney.

Joe: A chimney?

Tess: Yes, frighteningly stuck.

Joe: Oh, no.

Tess: It was quite a tight fit. I got in okay, but I got stuck coming out. It took me the rest of the night to wiggle and waggle and wiggle and waggle my way out. And when I finally got out, it was Christmas morning, and I was alone and stranded.

Joe: That's terrible. Didn't he come back for you?

Tess: I don't know. He probably forgot about me. It was a very busy night for him.

Joe: But… a whole year? Who is this guy?

Tess: Well, we just call him Old Nick. But you probably know him as Santa Claus.

Joe: You gotta be kidding?

Tess: (she shakes her head) No, I'm quite serious. I should be back in the North Pole right now, helping to get ready for Christmas. It's a very busy time.

Joe: I can imagine. Well, it's not your fault. He left you behind.

Tess: I wasn't even supposed to come along. I filled in for my friend Felix, who had the flu.

Joe: Where have you lived all year?

Tess: Under the bridge.

Joe: What bridge?

Tess: (she points in a direction away from the library) Up there!

Joe: Outside?

Tess: Yes?

Joe: Isn't it cold?

Tess: Oh, not as cold as the North Pole.

Joe: What'd you do for food?

Tess: Pizza. I love pizza.

Joe: Where'd you get the pizza?

Tess: At the Brick Oven.

Joe: They feed you?

Tess: I deliver pizza for them. I have a lot of experience making deliveries.

Joe: Yeah, but you're not very good at it.

Tess: Well, I don't have to go down chimneys to deliver pizzas.

Joe: I guess that's true.

Tess: (rubbing her round belly) I'm afraid I won't fit down any chimneys now… I had some money, and I got a ride to the airport, but they wouldn't let me on the plane because I didn't have an I.D.

Joe: Where were you going?

Tess: Back to the North Pole. Well, not at first. I was going to fly to Alaska, then take a dogsled to the Pole.

Joe: Wow, that's quite a trip.

Tess: I know. But I have to get back there somehow.

Joe: Well, why don't you write a letter to Santa? Lots of kids do that at this time of year.

Tess: But I don't know how to write a letter.

Joe: I can help you. You have about ten days.

Tess: (starts to cry) He'll never get it. You know how many sacks of letters he gets?

Joe: A lot?

Tess: Lots and lots. They're piled to the ceiling.

(They stare blankly at each other as they think about it.)

Joe: I got an idea. It's December 15th, almost Christmas, right?

Tess: It is… It's the 15th of December. So what are you suggesting?

Joe: Santa will be back here on Christmas Eve, right?

Tess: Yes, I think so. Well, I hope so.

Joe: You can stay here until then, as long as no one sees you during the day. There's lots of places a little person like you can hide in this building.

Tess: But what about my job?

Joe: Hmm… I'll give you one of our spare keys. And on Christmas Eve, climb up into the cupola. You can see for miles and miles up there. When you see Santa flying in on his sleigh, run out and catch up with him.

Tess: You think so?

Joe: I think it's a good plan, and you can be back home for Christmas.

Tess: Oh, thank you. Thank you. What an excellent idea.


Scene 2

(It's Christmas Eve. Tess is up in the cupola of the library with a pair of binoculars scanning the night sky. After a long, cold wait, Santa's sled filled with toys pulls into town. Tess charges out of the library and joins Santa and the other elves. There is a joyous reunion. Shortly after, Santa's sled flies away with Tess and a few other elves hanging on. Joe stands in front of the library, waving goodbye.)

Tess: (yells) Thank you, and Merry Christmas!

Joe: (smiles and waves) Merry Christmas, and stay out of chimneys.



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